Some first impressions from this limited Zino release aren’t the best: marbling wrapper, a light feel in the hand, not much aroma, loose pre-light draw, and Frankenstein-style veins.
But remember what your mother told you about looks being deceiving and Bo Diddley’s warning not to judge a book by the cover? They were right. The Make of L.A. Collector’s Edition is a strong, complex, and thoroughly enjoyable cigar.
This limited release—3,000 boxes of 10—follows Davidoff’s marketing strategy to make Zino appealing to a younger, affluent market. Like the earlier Make of New York, the cigar comes in one vitola (6 x 54) and four box designs, these featuring artwork by Burton Machen. It also sports a hefty $18 price tag, though I got a box online for less than half that cost.
The tobacco is an interesting mix of a variety of Dominican fillers with a binder from Yamasa (the region where Davidoff grows Puro d’Oro wrapper leaf). The wrapper is a caramel-colored Ecuadorian Habana.
Construction has generally been good in those I’ve smoked. The draw turned out to be fine and smoke production is excellent. I had a bit of an uneven burn in one, but others performed just fine.
The Make of L.A. begins with a touch of cedar and light spices before opening up to reveal more power. The flavors shift frequently and pleasantly, while the cigar maintains an excellent balance. I found wood, leather, pepper, and honey along the way. Each time I smoked one was more revealing than the last, with new flavors braiding in and out.
The finish is light, perhaps one reason the strength wasn’t immediately apparent. Not that this is a knock-you-in-the-face cigar, but it’s also far from a tap-you-on-the-shoulder stick.
I haven’t smoked enough Zino cigars to say how this release fits among its offerings. Judged on its own, it’s an excellent cigar.
But the obvious drawback is the price. Eighteen dollars for a fat toro is, from nearly anyone’s view, an expensive cigar. For the $7.50 I paid, I’d call it a great buy, a gamble I feel I clearly won, since I’d never had one before. Now, I wish I’d bought two boxes.
If you’re looking for an occasion cigar, pick up a Make of L.A. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, especially if you can take advantage of a markdown.
I give the Zino Platinum Make of L.A. Collector’s Edition a rating of four stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys